City encourages residents to enjoy trail system amid warm weather

May 11—With summer around the corner, many residents are parking their cars and using alternate modes to travel around the St. Joseph area.

St. Joseph has a large number of paved hike and bike trails that can go all around the city, said Assistant Parks Director Jeff Atkins.

"Throughout the park system, we've got over 25 miles of paved hiking bike trail now," Atkins said.

Atkins said some of these trails include the Urban Trail that travels from the north near St. Joseph Avenue all the way south to Hyde Park. There is also a longer trail that travels west to east through Corby Park and along the riverfront.

He said this gives the residents who work in a different area of the city access to other options if they would rather bike or walk.

"As long as you're on the trail portion, you don't have to worry about traffic," Atkins said. "Now of course, where you're crossing the streets, you have to. But when you're walking along, you can actually enjoy the scenery and not have to worry about traffic or just being somewhere where you shouldn't be. It's just calm and relaxing."

There are also more than 30 miles of non-paved trails that continue to grow. Atkins said that if residents want to ride bikes or walk for fun they can challenge themselves with trails in city parks including Krug and Hyde parks.

Locals were out in force this week in Corby Park enjoying the outdoors.

David Moyers is one resident who takes advantage of the trails in St. Joseph, but mostly for leisure and fun. When he spoke to News-Press NOW, he was walking with his dog Sasha.

"I try to get out here at least three days a week. I got a new puppy here and I'm getting her ready to hike out west in the mountains," Moyers said. "We try to get 4 to 5 miles when we do it."

Moyers said he thinks walking and biking along local trails and walkways is a great way for residents to stay healthy. He said it also promotes safety and community growth for residents.

"There is a sense of safety with it and then you're going to meet a lot of people," Moyers said. "I run into people all the time. You exchange ideas and you exchange stories and stuff like that. It's the social event, too, at the same time as it is getting getting healthy."

On May 17, the city will recognize Bike to Work Day as it coincides with May being National Bike Month.

Various local businesses will offer discounts and the St. Joseph Transit will be offering free rides to anyone who rides a bike. To participate with the city, sign up through the form by May 16.

Riley Funk can be reached at